The “Snake Handler Church”

A few months ago, I was writing my story of my journey into legalism. I suppose I should continue on about that.  The last post I posted about this was about my family’s search for a new church.

I don’t remember much about the process of our search. I remember driving by a little tiny church often with my mom on the way to extra curricula homeschooling activities. I pointed to the church one time and said, “What about that church mom? Why don’t we try visiting that church?”

My mom said, “I thought about it, but I am worried that it’s a snake handler church” So then began the discussion about snake handler churches and I forgot about that little church. 😉

One day my parents decided to try a new church that was just starting to form.  I had to get up earlier than usual, and I dressed myself  up fancier than usual. This new church was on the way past that little “snake handler church”.

We turned onto the highway that the new church was supposed to be on. We looked for the address of the new church and to no avail, we simply could not find it. We drove up the highway, turned around and drove back down the highway over and over again.  Still, could not find the church. My dad was becoming pretty irritated at this point. The service’s start time came and went.

After we were about 20 minutes late, my mom told my dad to forget it. Even if they did find the church, she would be too embarrassed to go into the building.

I was pretty irritated myself, as I had gotten up early and dressed up, and we were not going to church after all. I asked my parents if we could just find another church to try, and they agreed.

Me

This is Me the day I woke up extra early and get all dressed up to go to church. I guess it tickled my mom to see me dressed up, so she took a picture of me.

It just so happened that the “snake handlers” church service had not started yet, and we would actually be “early” if we went. So that’s where we went.

We waited in the parking lot a good 10 minutes before we decided we needed to go in. It was a small church. Actually, quite tiny. I think the auditorium had about 20 pews total in it. It would be obvious that we were visitors. No hiding in the back for us. This was quite a big change from previous churches we were members over the years that had balconies, and no one really knew that we even came.

We came in and sat down. About everyone came up and introduced themselves, and shook our hands. Two little girls around the age of  3 came in from the Sunday School rooms. I thought they were twins, but they were sisters…about a year apart in age. They walked over to a sweet looking old man, who pulled out a stick of Wrigley’s spearmint gum for them to chew. They hugged his leg, and went and sat with their parents.

We sat there, pretty self-conscious, and finally the piano player started playing some hymns with gusto, and some guy stood up, who was the song leader, called out the hymn number and we began to sing. The attention was finally off of us. Whew!

I do not remember what the sermon was about that day. I do remember that no snakes were brought out, and everything else seemed fairly normal. So normal, in fact, that my parents were not too frightened by the experience and decided to go back the next week.

I kind of liked it there too. It was very small….but everyone seemed to be friends with one another.  I was also at the age, now, where church wasn’t “boring”. Despite the fact that there were no strong children’s programs…I did not care. I was a mature teenager now. Who need’s junior church when you should be in a youth group any way?

Um…and there was no youth group. But that was Ok by me too. Because in my readings of Hope Chest magazine, and The King’s Daughter magazine, and listening some to Phil Lancaster, I realized that youth groups were not very healthy anyway….I should always be with my parents.

So I liked this church. There was no youth group to feel pressure to join. And really, there wasn’t much “youth” my age.Three teenage boys…and I the only girl. The boys were weird…except one who seemed to be nice. He always came up and shook my hand at hand shaking time. With a firm grasp. The other boys pretended like I wasn’t even there.

This church was better in my eyes too. No “fluffy” preaching. Plain preaching, straight from the Bible. In past churches, I got “fluffy” preaching. Cute little stories, and little homilies. Honestly, I still find that sort of preaching rather dull, and I ate up the teaching that just seemed to come right out of the Bible.

I thirsted for it actually. That first year being there, I read the New Testament with gusto for the first time. It was like the Bible opened up to me and finally made sense. I highlighted almost all of it, and was truly excited to read the Bible.

Everyday, in the morning, I would read my Bible. It was an exciting time for me…to finally be interested in the Bible. I had seemed to struggle with finding the Bible interesting before that for some reason.
Though I was awakened to being “spiritual” before my Bible reading awakening, this was a “new level” for me. I was moving up in my spiritual walk and I was on a high.

Oh, by the way….this was an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church

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2 Responses to The “Snake Handler Church”

  1. Mara says:

    Yay! You are blogging again!
    I could never go to a IFB but that doesn’t mean that the are all the spawn of Satan.

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